This a very clear letter, very sharp.

Por Venezuela Real - 3 de Junio, 2006, 19:19, Categoría: Política Nacional

Isabel T. Lara

Chavismo has been undermining all the old educational system. In a way that would be not so bad if, like it was the case in the Soviet Union, he were to create a strong new system based on meritocracy within the ideology of the state. After all some of the Soviet achievements can be traced to such an educational system, even though it reached its limits under Stalinas ideology became the only criteria. Examination entrance to some Soviet elite universities and background credentials would make any Western entrance exam pale in comparison.

But what Chavez, an ignorant on education matters as he is ignorant on pretty much else except fiery populist speeches, is promoting a pseudo non elite educational system whose aim is clearly avoid the creation of any technological elite, avoidance of any free thinking and creativity. Basically what chavismo  wants is a system dumbed down to the Bolivarian University level where to enter it is enough to show your adhesion to the revolution, even if you barely can read and write.

It is not the place in this post to establish a whole critic of what is going on with education in
Venezuela, a catastrophe of its own that started 20 years ago and that has accelerated considerably under Chavez. Let's just say for the time being that it is a top heavy system where large sums are spent on higher education, perversely considered as a right while elementary education is dramatically under funded. There are workers with a primary degree that can barely write down their name or read basic instructions for simple machinery use. Often I have to read aloud to them instructions to make sure they understand. These people, even with a 6 grade "education" could benefit from Mision Robinson (which, by the way, from reports emerging, does to seem to have solved the illiteracy problem in Venezuela).

Myself, like Chavez, are products of the old system which for all its vices and virtues managed to educate for free Chavez and myself. He went to military school and I went the scholarship way. Through my state scholarships, obtained strictly on my merits, I got an engineering degree and then a MsS. Once in the States I got my PhD the good old fashioned way: teaching and research assistantships and macaroni and cheese. Yet the system produced a president and a published scientist. Now, the Bolivarian University will produce only ideological crap.

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